Last year I wrote this post on selecting the sex of the child you wish to adopt. And more recently, I've been writing posts on ethics in adoption, including this recent post on what adoption agencies need to start and stop doing, which included a paragraph on selecting the sex of baby adoptive parents desire. This post, which I shared in various adoption-focused FB groups, elicited a slew of responses, particularly on the issue of sex-selection.
Since Baby Z was born in January, we've heard, many, many times, "Oh! You finally got your boy!" And, "Isn't it so awesome having a son?" And asked, "Isn't having a boy just so different?"
And my response is that we would have been happy no matter the sex of our third child. In fact, his bio mom thought he was going to be a girl, until her second "find out" ultrasound revealed otherwise. We had already been brainstorming girl names.
Having a son, right now, has been no different than having daughters. (Well, I guess there are far fewer cute clothing options...). A baby is a baby who has the same basic needs.
Of course, we think Baby Z is pretty awesome. But that's not because he's a boy. It's because he is ours.
Here's why, with rare exceptions (mentioned in the the above linked post), why we won't specify the sex of the child we will adopt (domestic infant adoption):
---We don't believe in telling God or a birth parent or an agency who we can and cannot be blessed with.
---I'm not ordering up a sandwich at Subway. I'm trying to adopt a child. It's about becoming or growing in motherhood.
---I'm not going to exclude myself from a possible adoption because of the child's sex. I'm not going to lose the opportunity to support an expectant mother, whether she parents or places, based on the sex of her baby.
---I'm not going to set up my future child to "be" or "fulfill" MY desires. I don't feel that there's anything wrong with having an inkling of preference, but having a preference and then checking a box for that preference, thereby excluding other babies from being ours, doesn't sit well with me.
---Boys and girls are equally valuable and worthy of a forever family. They can bring equal joy into a family.
---Jesus told His disciples to let the little children come to Him. Not the boys first and the girls second (or vice versa). No, I don't think Jesus was speaking about adoption in this Bible passage, but I do think the verse shows that children are all precious in God's sight.
---How could I possibly say "no" to a child based on his/her sex when God might have great purpose for that child in our family?
---Adoption generally offers adoptive families too many choices, making adoption more parent-driven instead of child-driven. It gets ethically murky to start rejecting children based on their sex. Slippery slope, friends.
---What if a family did have a preference, and the mom thinks she's having a boy, for example, and ends up having a girl? What do families do? Dump the mom and baby for the baby they REALLY want? (It happens, readers. Can you imagine the devastation that would bring upon the mother?) Gasp, you think. No way would I do that? How are you NOT doing that from the get-go by pre-selecting your child's sex? Adoption is about commitment, ethics, and family-building...at least it should be.
---It's not fair to have projecting expectations onto a child: which is hurtful to the child. Like, "I want a son so we can a part of Boy Scouts together like I did with my dad." Or, "I want a girl whom I can buy tutus for." It's not ok to have expectations of a child based on YOUR selfish desires. Doing so is quite dangerous for the child's well being. It shouldn't be done to a boy or a girl, a biological or adopted child, a child of a certain race, etc. Parents who have expectations of children based on a certain characteristic are setting children up to fail and setting themselves up for disappointment. (A whole different rant on gender nonsense might come at another time....like that boy or a girl should like certain toys---and not play with others---and should be in certain activities, but not others...blah blah blah).
Parents, if you truly believe that you are MEANT to parent a specific child (as I once heard an adoptive mom who was adamant that God had a bi-racial girl for her), than you have nothing to lose by being open to all races and both sexes. What's meant to be will be.
It's about faith.
It's about ethics.
It's about doing what is RIGHT even when it's not easy.
It's about not giving in to the "I'm paying the big bucks, so the agency needs to pony up and fulfill my heart's desires" and instead, seeing adoption for what it is: human hearts, on the line.
You know the ol' pro-life slogan? I think it applies to adoption too: It's a child, not a choice.